Wednesday, December 5, 2012

our elf is good.

Last year I bought this elf on the shelf as a gift for the kids. I told them that we would start this tradition this year, and to tell you the truth it hasn't been too bad. 

I read this article this morning, and this blog post, and all I have to say is, "Wow!" The things people write can be so judgemental, offensive, and such a turnoff. I just click the button, and the desire diminishes to no longer read their writings. 

I don't care how real someone can get as a columnist, or a blogger, but have some tact...especially when it comes to families building traditions (such as the elf on the shelf.) Nothing against these ladies because we are all entitled to our own opinions as to what we write, but still... I could never write something that says, "having an elf on the shelf in your home makes you a bad parent."

Okay...back to my elf opinionated post.

I bought the elf on the shelf before it became popular on Pinterest. I didn't know the extent of the story, or what this elf was about other that he looked cute on a box. The fact that it had a book in it sold me. I came home, put it downstairs in my Christmas bin, and waited until this year to get him out.  

For the past week we have moved him around a different spot every night. Even though I pinned so many ideas on Pinterest in which hundreds of followers have re-pinned, I don't want to bother with those elaborate scenes. Especially the mischievous ones. 

And so after reading the aforementioned article in its entirety this is what I commented:

"Every parent is different, and I personally did start the tradition of the elf on the shelf this year. I don't do the elaborated scenes that are posted on pinterest, and I don't make him a "big deal" in our house. Jesus, time, and love are number one in our home. Not that I'm comparing the elf to Santa or Jesus Christ, but I do tell my two youngest children that they are always being watched. I find balance in my life, don't believe in clutter, I am Hispanic, endured a lot when I was young, and was raised by a single mom for awhile, and didn't grow up with any traditions. I am happy for these traditions, and it doesn't make anyone  a bad parent for wanting to include a little elf in their house. If you don't make it stressful it can be fun for the kids to wake up in the morning to find him sitting on a bookshelf reading, or on the tree holding an ornament as if he is decorating it, or on the kitchen counter holding a tiny napkin as if he is wiping it. Those are simple gestures, and are teaching the kids that his is a good elf...not mischievous. It's not hard to implement good ideas if you make the time, and are organized. I have four children with one entering college next year. Believe me...I have a lot on my plate, but find time to love our children while entertaining them too! Just my thoughts, and wanted to share. Thanks."

I didn't attack the writer like some of the other commenter's did, but I did give my opinion...a tactful one at that. Apparently teachers, and many parents have started this tradition. 

If elf on the shelf isn't for you, and your mind is saying, "not another marketing non-Christian tradition" then don't do it, and please stop complaining. There are many reasons why families start traditions. Life is too short to have the attitude of Scrooge...especially during the holidays.

Like I said, there are no Bah Humbugs in this house!

I am fortunate enough to have two self sufficient daughters who have helped put "Miles" (that's our elfs name) out exhibiting good behavior. There are many simple ideas that Miles can do while he is in our home throughout the month of December such as knitting, doing yoga, reading a book, roasting a marshmallow, and...

Kneeling over the baby Jesus. 
We can make the elf on the shelf simple, and sweet. We all have opinions about life, and why we start traditions...especially at Christmas time. 

No parent is perfect, but I do know this....I am not a bad one for starting this tradition. You don't have to be crafty to have an elf on the shelf...just a loving heart with a good attitude, and an elf who exhibits good behavior. 


  1. I am so happy for this post! I saw "Elf" at Target two years ago and have wanted ever since. I finally decided that this year was the year. Except this year it has completely blown out of proportion. I've been seeing things on Pinterest that completely blow my mind (an elf taking a marshmallow bubble bath with a naked barbie!!). I think keeping it simple was my whole thought. I read a blog post about a woman who has one and her kids like to talk to him, ask him about Santa, and tell him about their day. Simple. I loved it. I'm not planning anything elaborate, and I certainly don't like being pegged as a "crazy mom", and most certainly not as a mom that doesn't center Christmas around the birth of Christ. But I am a little nauseated by the 'naughty elf', and even moreso by women complaining about other women. This blogosphere we live in has really gotten out of hand when it comes to beating each other down for doing things we either enjoy or think might be fun for our children.

    At any rate, thank you for publishing. Been thinking about this topic a lot for the last few weeks. Bought my elf any way, and introducing him in another few days. Excited! :)

    1. I whole heartedly agree! Thanks for your comment Annie!